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VMworld drew to a close in San Francisco this week, with a few big announcements and a whole heap of speculation over the future of the company.
If attendees were hoping to gain some clarification on the whole EMC Federation, Elliot Management, buyout, spin-in fiasco, they left disappointed, because there was really no mention of it. Sure, there were whispers in the corridors, but on stage, the name of the game was: “Ready for any”.
VMware has a habit of coming up with nonsensical taglines for its conferences, and this year was no exception. Carl Eschenbach, VMware’s president and COO explained with a rhetorical question.
“What if we, at VMworld 2015, could enable you to run, build, deliver and secure any app, anytime, anyplace?” Eschenbach asked the crowd. “Our goal for VMworld this year is to make sure you’re ready for ANY – any challenge or business opportunity that lies ahead.”
There were two major products unveiled at the San Fran event: Photon Platform, and vSphere Integrated Containers, both of which centre around offering containerised applications inside a VM.
The news is a clear indication from the virtualisation giant, that it’s not going to be disrupted by Docker’s open-source container technology without a fight. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
VMware vSphere Integrated Containers, aka Project Bonneville, embeds a container engine and Photon OS directly into ESX, which containerised applications can take then advantage of.
The virtualisation giant announced several enhancements to its vCloud Air public cloud. Customers can now run disaster recovery tests using the new Site Recovery Manager Air. VMware also introducing vCloud Air Object Storage, powered by the Google Cloud Platform.
There was also the announcement of vCloud Air SQL, a new database-as-a-service solution, allowing organisations to move their SQL Server applications online without the need for modification.
Reagan, meet Gorbachev
Then there was the Microsoft partnership. Microsoft's Hyper-V and VMware's vSphere platforms have been going head to head for years; the two companies are bitter rivals. But on Tuesday, they announced that they were putting aside their differences to form an end-user computing (EUC) initiative called Project A².
VMware executive vice president Sanjay Poonen and Microsoft corporate vice president Jim Alkove announced the product, an event that Poonen likened to Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan working together. The aim of the project is to deliver Windows 10 apps using AirWatch's enterprise mobility management suite and VMware's App Volumes technology. Essentially, it is mobile device management… for Windows 10 desktops.
While the project is an interesting one, the real talking point is the collaboration between the two companies. As the needs of the markets shift, vendors are waking up to the fact that they can’t operate in the separationist vortexes of yesteryear. Nadella’s Microsoft finally looks to be coming out of its closed-source shell a bit.
VMworld Europe is just over a month away (12-15 October), and while it will undoubtedly follow much the same format as the stateside event, it will give folks on this side of the pond a chance to take a closer look at what VMware and its partners are up to. We will see you there!